#VoicesofYoungCatholicWomen letter campaign to meet Pope's challenge

Posted by Siobhan O'Neill Meluso
Tuesday 16, September 2014 | Category:   Mission & Evangelization,Prayer and Spirituality
Saint Mary's College (Notre Dame, Ind.) President Carol Ann Mooney will hand deliver the #VoicesofYoungCatholicWomen letters when she and Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, have a general audience with Pope Francis on November 26.

Pope Francis has called on Catholic youth to contribute to the Church’s life and mission. “The Church needs you, your enthusiasm, your creativity, and the joy that is so characteristic of you,” he said at World Youth Day 2013. His call to action comes at a time when an estimated 35 percent of Millennial women who were baptized Catholic no longer practice their faith. (Source: General Social Survey.)

“The Voices of Young Catholic Women project has allowed me to see my academic studies come to life. As a religious studies major and a gender and women’s studies minor, this experience is giving me a tangible experience where I am able to see the intersection of religion and gender,” said Saint Mary’s College student Tori Wilbraham ’15 (seond from the left pictured with the organizing group).
A group of students active in Campus Ministry at Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, Ind.) are rising to meet this challenge by organizing a letter-writing response to Pope Francis’ outreach to youth called “Voices of Young Catholic Women" (#VoicesofYoungCatholicWomen). They’re inviting Catholic women of the Millennial Generation (born between 1981-1995) to write the pope about their love for the Catholic tradition and ideas for how the Church might better reach their demographic.

The project asks for examples of how women can be more involved in the Church and conveys the message that young women are a very vital and important part of the Church's life. The students in this initiative are supported by the College’s Division for Mission, including the Center for Spirituality and Campus Ministry. During the development of this project, the division was headed by Sister Veronique Wiedower, CSC, then-vice president for Mission at the College. This month Sister Veronique was installed president of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the congregation that founded Saint Mary's 170 years ago.

For more about the Sisters of the Holy Cross, click here.

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